I ran the fifth and final Unitec series race on Sunday. Gosh, it feels good to have those done and dusted. I've enjoyed running them, but its getting to the point now where I'm about ready for a break from the seriousness of the training. I want my runs to be a little more spontaneous. Not yet though, there's still the Auckland (Half) Marathon to go. I am looking forward to it, mostly to conquer my fear of that harbour bridge ;) It's probably not that bad, I'm just making it seem like a mountain in my head. But for now, back to Sunday's race! I woke up bright and early, before the 6.30am alarm as usual. I often wonder why I bother to set the alarm, but know that the one time I don't I'll sleep in and miss the event! Murphy's Law can be a b**** sometimes... I chomped my way through some apricot and granola oatmeal:
I made the oatmeal the night before with steel cut oats, then warmed it up in the morning, splashed on some extra soy milk and topped it with buckwheat granola. Yum! Then I proceeded to get ready for the race while visiting the bathroom multiple times. You'd think I'd be used to this whole race thing by now, that I wouldn't have to deal with the nervous stomach. Apparently my delicate stomach has other ideas :/ I jumped in the car just before 8am and discovered that the battery was flat, so once again had to take Deane's ridiculous car. At least this time I had plenty of time to spare, and there was no stress. I got a park close to the event (hurrah!) and I ended up being half an hour early. Enough time for one more toilet stop (ugh) and to stand around soaking up the atmosphere. It was warm and sunny, so there was no need to worry about trying to dump a jersey or tie it around my waist for the race. It did make me a little concerned about hydration and sunburn though - I'd forgotten to put on sunscreen (I didn't get burnt, in case you're wondering).
This time around I was towards the front of the pack at the start, and that may have caused me to go out a little fast - I'm not very good at judging my pace when surrounded by other runners. At the 1km mark my pace was pretty quick - 5'03". The next two kilometres weren't any better, I actually sped up to 4'53" and 4'59" respectively. By the end of the first lap I had managed to slow down a little bit, back to 5'10" pace, most likely aided by a bit of a walk when I reached the water station. It's not easy chugging water from a plastic cup when you're running! During the second lap, I had a much longer break at the water station because the guy manning it had not been able to keep up with demand. He was filling cups with the energy drink but neglecting the water so myself and a couple of other runners had to stop and fill our own. That kilometre ended up being the slowest, at 5'59". The rest of the race was at about 5'15" pace, still relatively fast for me but slower than the first lap (and the whole time I was cursing myself for running that 5km the day before). My lap split times were 39:59/42:01. Definitely slower! I got a little annoyed with a girl that would run ahead for a distance, then walk for a while and wait until I'd caught up then run off again. It's like she was using me as a marker for her to keep ahead of. Rather irritating. I was mentally shaking my fist at her in frustration.
My official finish time was 1:22:01, and I was 10th female of 137, and 34th of 224 overall. My lowest female placing out of all five races, but also the largest field. I'm cool with that :) I paid a visit to the osteo students once again, and the guy I got was pretty good. He kindly pointed out that my lack of yoga and cross-training over the last several weeks has been detrimental to my poor, hard-working leg and hip muscles and tendons. So I guess it's back to squats, crunches and stretches for me then. No more excuses. I want my legs to keep working so I'd better look after them. My Nike+ phone app also alerted me to the fact that my favourite running shoes have done enough kilometres now that I need to think about replacing them. Hmm, they might last until Christmas... (hint hint, Deane. More running shoes for Christmas please!)
Now there's less than a month to go before the Auckland Marathon, and my long runs will be tapering down in the lead up to it. No more 20km+ weekend runs until race day! I'm a little sad about that, but I don't want to overdo the training now and miss out on the race entirely. Yes, I do have some common sense. Surprising, I know ;)
Food-wise, the last week was a little bit all over the place. I ate some chicken when we had dinner at some friends, and I had a small square piece of kingfish last night when we had some other friends over with fresh catch. There was no way I was getting out of having a bit of the lauded, hard-won fish! Otherwise, no red meat. I have had some dairy (milk, cheese, ice cream, yogurt. Okay, a lot of dairy...) I was so intensely curious about this cinnamon apple grilled cheese sandwich that I just had to try it. It was totally worth it. (My sandwich had edam cheese, not that weird bright yellow American stuff). A strange combination perhaps, but very delicious! It appears I'm all for weird combos lately - last night's salad was spinach with strawberries, cucumber, walnuts and peas. Not your usual salad... The dressing was a little too strong for my liking, but otherwise it was good. It was a rather large salad though, so next time I'll scale it back by half and tweak the dressing.
I've been pretty good at the 'no baked goods' thing, except for race day. My treat to myself after completing the fifth and final race in the series was a cronut. Something I'd been hanging out to try ever since I'd heard of them, and seriously, the only time I'd ever eat one would be after a long run. These babies are hoarding somewhere between 500 and 700 calories a pop! We called in to Farro Fresh to grab a couple for lunch (T and I had one, Deane and X had slightly healthier food), then we came home and I sat down and devoured the whole thing:
Filled with creamy custard, covered in cinnamon sugar, and so very, very bad for you! I will never eat another one, but it was certainly an experience. Something else I vow never to eat again (because it is just that good) - Puhoi Valley custard. So new, it's not even on their website yet! There are two flavours, vanilla bean and butterscotch. The butterscotch is absolutely divine. Which is why I'll never buy it again. Tried it, loved it, know its so good I'd be in danger of eating the entire container if I ever bought another one, so have put it on the 'banned' list. That's usually how it goes ;)
I feel like the last week has been a bit of a dairy glut. It started out slow with some milk in my tea when there was no other option, and it spiralled into all things creamy. Pressing the restart button now...
I've nearly completed the Ron Weasley blanket - I have one and a half rounds left to go on the edging, and I have the fleece backing all ready to sew on:
It's pretty weighty so I think it'll need tacking in quite a few places as well, perhaps in each of the block corners. I'm looking forward to having it finished, and am slightly disappointed that we're having such nice warm weather now that I have no need of it. Bring on next winter!! LOL!
Well, time to get dressed and get on with the day - we're heading to the museum to visit the marine exhibition. This second school holiday week should whizz by pretty quickly. I have study to get on with. I finished my second stats assignment and got 88%, hurrah! Guess those workshops really do help. Still waiting on the results of the assignment for the other paper. Fingers crossed it's a good mark. Enjoy your week!